On Wednesday 29th January, the first team welcomed Leeds Beckett for a much anticipated fixture between the two teams fighting for survival in the BUCS Northern Prem. The stage was set at Peffermill for a 3pm kick-off with the rain battering down on the turf the supporters gathered with their brollys and big voices to cheer on the home team in the tough conditions.
Edinburgh started the game strongly, dominating possession and pushing for the opening goal. The first sign of danger came from an early free kick in a threatening position, the ball swung in the box carried by the wind but was met with the head of Kim who cleared the ball from danger. The breakthrough for Edinburgh came in the 14th minute as Reynolds nicked the ball from the Leeds midfielder and slotted a beautiful ball through to the feet of Brown who hit the ball top corner with pace to beat the keeper. The opening goal gave the home side a boost and the momentum of the play continued to cause problems for the Leeds defence. The second goal came in the 21st minute with Reynolds involved again laying off Coppel who slotted the ball with precision bottom left, doubling the advantage. The conditions were worsening with the rain and hail lashing down proving difficult for both teams, but the sodden supporters remained on the side-lines roaring for the home team- no phones in sight everyone just out living in the moment. A curled first time effort late on in the first half from the Leeds striker caught the defence off guard, but it whistled past the post. In the closing stages of the first half Edinburgh continued to apply pressure to the Leeds back line with a corner floated in by Coppel which connected with the head of Kim but was nodded just wide from the skipper.
At the half way mark the score was 2-0 and Edinburgh came off the pitch with confidence in their stride looking to the second half.
After deliberation over the continuance of the game for the second half due to the weather the decision was made to head back out and play the next 45 minutes. The whistle blew and Leeds came out the blocks fighting for a way back in with a powerful shot testing the ever-reliable Kelli who made an important stop. Mcintosh for Edinburgh then fired a thunderbolt (a few moments after receiving a yellow) rattling the crossbar from 18 yards. The home side then managed to add to their lead with a peach of a ball from Huettel to break the defensive line and find Mcintosh who knocked it past the keeper. In response to the third goal Leeds Beckett made a move in attack ending with a strong shot on target however Keeper Kelli was equal to it and punched the ball clear to maintain her clean sheet. Mcintosh added to her previous goal by winning the ball in midfield then skilfully advancing through the Leeds back line and finding the back of the net. Edinburgh cranked up the style with another goal within two minutes as Jen fired the ball off the near post and in to make it 5-0 to the reds. They weren’t finished just there as Grey made a heroic run down the line and put an absolute stunner of a cross into the path of Reynolds who scored her first and Edinburgh’s 6th of the game.
After just over 90 minutes the whistle blew and the crowd went wild as Edinburgh had secured their first ever win in the BUCS prem and a place in the highly competitive league again next season.
Man of the Match- Kelli Sontag-Hanman for a superb performance between the sticks.