Doherty hits early double but Ben Rhydding are beaten and go bottom

Rachel Doherty scored both Ben Rhydding goals

Rachel Doherty scored both Ben Rhydding goals

First published in Sport

Ben Rhydding 2 Wakefield Bradford 4

Ben Rhydding Ladies couldn’t continue their winning form in the National Confernece North from the previous week as they were beaten at home by Wakefield Bradford.

Despite going two goals up early on, Ben Rhydding couldn’t hold on to a second successive victory.

A surprise success for fellow strugglers Cannock also means Rhydding drop back to bottom spot in the Conference North ahead of their visit to the Staffordshire club on Saturday.

Captain Jodie Bridger said: “We were pleased with the performance but it just didn’t go our way. It was an end to end game and when it’s like that anything can happen.

“They responded very quickly to our goals and made it very difficult for us. They got an own goal which we really couldn’t do anything about. I think we would’ve won on another day,” said Bridger.

Ben Rhydding remain confident ahead of playing Cannock, who are just one point better off, away this Saturday and it is clearly a must win game if Rhydding are to stay in the division following their promotion last year.

Bridger said: “We’re really up for this Saturday and we’ve got some important games coming up which we need to be up for.”

Boosted by their success against Doncaster, Rhydding were quickly into their stride. In the first minute Jen Wilson fired an early ball up the left to forward Rachel Doherty in acres of space. She headed straight for goal and coolly scooped the ball over the diving keeper.

The visitors were shell shocked as Rhydding continued to attack. Kate Hesketh and Jess Purvis's tireless running pressured Wakefield into defensive errors.

England under-21 player Abbie Brant’s reverse strike was initially saved by the keeper but Doherty picked up the deflected ball and slotted her second goal.

Wakefield resorted to hitting long passes up the pitch and smashing hard balls into Rhydding's defensive D hoping for a lucky deflection.

To Rhydding’s amazement this tactic worked and before they knew it Wakefield had pulled two goals back from two deflected own goals.

By half time the visitors had made it 3-2 from an accurate penalty corner strike. The Ilkley side's confidence had taken a knock and they struggled to keep possession of the ball for long periods of the second half.

Some important saves from Jo Carpay and solid defending by Fran Holmes-Brown and Bridger gradually settled the home side's nerves and Rhydding managed to move the ball forward to attack. Rhydding came close to equalising when Abbie Brant and Rachelle Le Bourdon linked up well for a penalty corner routine, but Brant’s quick shot was saved at close range and cleared.

Despite some gritty tackling in midfield and defence from Jo Taylor and Helen Fisher they could not prevent Wakefield from scoring a fourth and final goal late on.

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