YORK City Ladies took another step towards safety in the FA Women’s National League Division One North by claiming a crucial point in a 1-1 draw with league leaders Hull City Ladies.

A fantastic effort in front of a bumper crowd in Hull saw York deny league leaders Hull a potential shot at the title, with the Minsterbelles overcoming a one-goal deficit to earn an important point on the road.

After manager Chris Holloway celebrated his first victory with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Chester-le-Street Town last weekend, the Minsterbelles boss opted to make one change as Rebecca Jeffels made way for Karli Smith.

An early opener from Helen Lynskey was cancelled out through a second-half strike from Jess Holder, adding to her impressive tally for the campaign.

The Minsterbelles are now two points clear of Chester-le-Street in the relegation zone, with two matches of the league season remaining.

Hull started the contest the better of the two sides, with Hope Knight stinging the palms of Becky Sidwell twice in the space of five minutes.

York responded with captain Nikki Brown threading an inch-perfect through ball into the path of Holder, who was unlucky to see her strike rattle the upright eagerly pushing for the opener.

Some superb defending saw the home side rattle the woodwork, with Sidwell producing an exceptional stop to push a close-ranged effort onto the crossbar.

But with both sides closely competing for the opener, it was the Tigress’ who took the advantage.

A dangerous cross into the City area was met by Lynskey, who prodded the ball past Sidwell and into the bottom corner.

York began to grow back into the game with Ocean Rolandsen’s pass being met by Elisha Hardcastle, but her strike was expertly kept out by Abi Wallace.

Captain Brown again looked to carve open an equaliser with her strike nestling onto the roof of the net, before Holder cut inside from the wing and blasted an effort narrowly over the crossbar.


Hull had one final opportunity before the half-time break with Ellie Tanser being presented with a glorious opportunity, but her strike failed to test Sidwell as she saw her effort fall wide of the target.

Holloway made a single change at the break with Dani Nanga on to replace Hannah Brierley, with City immediately drawing level.

Sophie Tinson, fresh from last weekend’s hat-trick, added an assist to her tally when threading a perfectly-timed through ball into Holder, who latched onto the opportunity before comfortably slotting an effort past the onrushing Wallace.

Sidwell again made a sublime save when substitute Rachael Ackroyd flicked her header goalwards, but the City shot-stopper produced an incredible stop to keep the Minsterbelles level.

Tinson looked to put York ahead when forcing Wallace into a low save, before Sidwell was again tested by Knight, but this time was able to deny the Hull attacker.

Knight saw one final glance wide of the target, with both sides playing out a close-knit draw for the remainder of the contest.

“We talked about attitude a lot and that 97 odd minutes just optimised it. The way they dug in to the end, Becks made some great save, they’ve hit the bar, we hit the bar at nil-nil but I thought that overall the way the girls managed it, and put in a shift, was superb.

“The way that girls again came back, I thought it was fairly even in the first-half.

“Not me being biased, but I thought the girls played well and played good stuff at times.

“We’ve come to the league leaders here who had a chance to win the league today with a fantastic crowd, over 700 were here for them.

“But the girls have had their backs against the wall quite a bit, so the way that they have dealt with it was brilliant.

“Nobody expects us to come here and get anything. I’ve just said to the girls that we go again, we get a week of training in and we go again for another tough and different type of game in Stockport.”

YORK CITY LADIES: Sidwell, Brierley (Nanga, 45), Brown, Cattle, Smith, Hardcastle, Rolandsen, Ash (Duffield, 85), Collins, Holder, Tinson (Jones, 88)

Subs not used: Singleton, Lendhill

Attendance: 710